Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Installation of underwater turbine and foundation structures at Pentland Firth: Notice to Mariners

18th September 2016

Photograph of Installation of underwater turbine and foundation structures at Pentland Firth: Notice to Mariners

Update From Bill Mowatt.

'Notice to mariners':
Installation of first tidal-stream turbine in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound at Atlantis RL's MeyGen site c. 1.5 miles off Gills Bay, near SW Stroma.

As you can see, this historic installation is to take place on the coming 'dead-tide' (i.e. neap) sequence, starting in the second half of the coming week.

I was speaking to Skipper Jason Schofield, MD of Green Marine (UK) Ltd of Stromness during the past week and he expected that Green Isle may be using Gills H as required during the operation in c. 30/35 metres of water.

For that workboat, it will be a case of her 'spanning the millennia' in terms of technology during a month.

Recently she accompanied a (leather) hide-hulled recreated Neolithic willow-framed boat, of the type that the first farmers are believed to have used to transport calves and grain-seeds seeds across the Firth. This was being filmed for an archaeology 'documentary'. The trip was from Hoy to Harrow ( Philip's Harbour) below the Castle of Mey.

The 21st century precision technology used in the manufacture/assembly of the 1.5 MW Andritz (Hammerfest) Hydro turbine, as was blessed at Nigg on the Cromarty Firth by Canisbay minister Rev. Lyall Rennie on Sept. 12th, is highly impressive and can be seen on-line.

The nearby Stroma (day) beacon is imminently due to be lit for the first time ever in c. 150 years; it is understood that NLB works there are all but complete.

The jack-up barge Neptune has arrive at Nigg from her home-port of Antwerp, Belgium. She was built for the offshore wind power-stations, but GeoSea, a subsidiary of Belgian offshore construction/ u-water 'dredge & build' specialists DEME believe that she is equally suitable for tidal-turbine work. (again see website). DEME recently became an Atlantis RL shareholder.

It was in 1907 that playwright/philosopher Irishman Geo. Bernard Shaw, still the only man ever to have beeen awarded the Nobel Prize as well as an (Hollywood film) Oscar , proposed harnessing the Firth's tides in a published paper for the (socialist) Fabian Society.

He considered that electricity from this source would free the UK's coalminers from physical danger, long-term heath problems and sheer drudgery of howking coal from narrow damp deep underground seams in darkness. A fellow-member at the time was Dr Gavin Clark MP who successfully proposed the legislation under which 'The Gills Bay Pier' (150 years long; 136 M) and who is now regarded as a 'hero' by Scotland two main political parties ( Scottish Labour & SNP) although the legislation was enacted by a Conservative administration.

GBS had crossed to Scapa Pier on his way to an angling holiday in Loch Stenness when he observed the power of the tidal streams from the deck of the first St Ola.

About Green Isle - information and photo from
With a length of 27.7 metres and a beam of 12.45 metres, the Multi Cat 2712 workboat, which was christened Green Isle, is a standard design with several modifications, i.e. a customised mooring system and Green Marine's own winches, which were installed by Damen and commissioned on board. The vessel has a speed of 10 knots, complies with the MCA CAT 1 workboat code and has a maximum bollard pull of 34.8 tonnes (average 33 tonnes). The workboat's basic functions for Green Marine will be anchor handling, installing wave and tidal energy devices, assisting barge operations, dredger service, supply, towing, hose handling and survey. For propulsion it is fitted with two Caterpillar C32 TTA ACERT engines with a total power of 1,790 bkW at 1,800 rpm.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

New Ferry For Pentland Ferries Arrives SafelyThumbnail for article : New Ferry For Pentland Ferries Arrives Safely
Scotland's most modern + environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient ROPAX ferry ship rge MV Alfred, arrived AM today (Wed 09.10.19 at St Margarets Hope.   The boat went round to Kirkwall immediately at the end of 9,000+ miles voyage from the Strategic Marine yard near Ho Chi Minh city (ex.  
Gills Harbour Ltd Awards Contract To Local FirmThumbnail for article : Gills Harbour Ltd Awards Contract To Local Firm
Gills Harbour Ltd, the community-owned body that owns & operates the busy little port on Caithness's North Coast, has awarded a remedial contract to a Wick-based company.   The deal, won in a competitive tender, has gone to builders/civil engineers Messrs GMR Henderson Ltd, of Martha Terrace in Wick.  
Latest Update From Gills Harbour To Caithness Transport ForumThumbnail for article : Latest Update From Gills Harbour To Caithness Transport Forum
Tidal Turbines Returned To Meygen Site In The Pentland FirthThumbnail for article : Tidal Turbines Returned To Meygen Site In The Pentland Firth
The big offshore construction vessel Seabed Stingray (8,878 tonnes) arrived in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from the Cromarty Firth's Nigg Energy Park around 07:00 on Monday (15.10.18) morning with a very special cargo on board.   The 121 metre-long vessel was in the narrow strait between Gills Bay and Stroma Island to replace two of the four 'pioneering' tidal turbines that had been lifted out from SIMEC Atlantis Energy's MeyGen site last Summer for inspection and modification at Nigg.  
Heavy Offshore Construction Vessel Viking Neptun In Pentlnd FirthThumbnail for article : Heavy Offshore Construction Vessel Viking Neptun In Pentlnd Firth
Picture by Gills Harbour Ltd's Hon Sec Lyall Rennie, of Lower Warse, Canisbay KW1 4YB shows the busy Pentalina ferry in foreground approaching the harbour and passing by the heavy offshore construction vessel Viking Neptun.   Deployed on Friday 20th July to recover two Andrtiz 1.5 MW turbines for warranty repairs from the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from SIMEC Atlantis Energy plc's seabed lease, known as the MeyGen site, just off Gills Bay ( just over 1 NM) in NE Caithness.  
Protest Mounting Over Certain Gills Bay/John O'Groats Bus Services To Be Cancelled
Since the news came out in the John O'Groat Journal that Stage coach are to change bus services for Gills and John O'Groats protests have been getting louder.   the proposed bus timetable changes from 20th August which effectively abolish the direct route from Wick to John o'Groats and Gills.  
New Office-bearer For Gills Harbour Ltd
Gills Harbour Ltd, the community body that owns and runs Gills Harbour on Caithness's North Coast, has a new office-bearer.   At its recent Annual General Meeting, Mr Mark Gibson of Northern View, John O'Groats KW1 4YS, was unanimously appointed as the body's Vice-Chairman.  
Gills Bay Crossing Busiest Sea Route In CaithnessThumbnail for article : Gills Bay Crossing Busiest Sea Route In Caithness
OFFICIAL FIGURES SHOW MORE PEOPLE AND CARS SAILED ACROSS THE PENTLAND FIRTH FROM CAITHNESS TO ORKNEY IN 2016 FROM GILLS BAY THAN ON ANY OTHER ROUTE.   Official figures recently published by Scottish Government 'spending watchdog' body Audit Scotland show that the so-called 'short sea-route' from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope was the busiest seaway to Orkney across the Pentland Firth in 2016.  
Take-over Of One Inner Sound Meygen Contactor By A Venerable Larger One
One of the contractors that has been operating in the Inner Sound for Atlantis RL's MeyGen site has been taken over by another, a much-larger one.   See note on Insight Marine Services Ltd of Cornwall.  
Gills Harbour AGM - Tuesday 21st March 2017Thumbnail for article : Gills Harbour AGM - Tuesday 21st March 2017
Notice of Annual General Meeting: On Tuesday 21.03.2017 @ 19.30.   Gills Harbour Ltd: A Community- owned trading Company limited by guarantee.  

[Printer Friendly Version]